Friday, November 29, 2019

Candidate Filing Begins Monday for OK Presidential Primary

Candidate Filing Begins December 2 for Oklahoma Presidential Primary

(Oklahoma City) – The three day candidate filing period for Oklahoma's Presidential Preferential Primary begins Monday, December 2 at 8:00 a.m. Statements of Candidacy for the Presidential Primary should be submitted to the Secretary of the Oklahoma State Election Board between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. on December 2, 3, or 4 at the State Election Board, located in room G28 of the Oklahoma State Capitol.

Those interested in filing for the election can download a candidate filing packet at:

Statements of Candidacy for the Presidential Primary must be notarized and accompanied by a filing fee. The filing fee is $5,000 and must be in the form of a cashier’s check or certified check payable to the Secretary of the State Election Board. A petition may be submitted in lieu of the filing fee. The official petition form and signature requirements can be found in the candidate filing packet.

The State Election Board will post a list of candidates who have filed for the Presidential Preferential Primary on its website at:

December 2 - 4 is also the candidate filing period for school boards across the state. Declarations of Candidacy for the Board of Education should be filed with the candidate’s County Election Board.

Those interested in filing for the election can download a candidate filing packet at:

Thursday, November 28, 2019

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving! I hope you are able to take time today to spend time with loved ones, think back over the past year and forward to the next, and thank God for the many blessings you have been given.

The following song is We Gather Together, an old Dutch hymn of thanksgiving, written in 1597 by Adrianus Valerius to celebrate a Dutch victory over the Spanish in their war for independence. It's sung here by "Tennessee Ernie" Ford and the San Quentin Prison Choir in 1963. It's a fitting piece for this special holiday.

We gather together to ask the Lord’s blessing;
He chastens and hastens His will to make known.
The wicked oppressing now cease from distressing.
Sing praises to His Name; He forgets not His own.

Beside us to guide us, our God with us joining,
Ordaining, maintaining His kingdom divine;
So from the beginning the fight we were winning;
Thou, Lord, were at our side, all glory be Thine!

We all do extol Thee, Thou Leader triumphant,
And pray that Thou still our Defender will be.
Let Thy congregation escape tribulation;
Thy Name be ever praised! O Lord, make us free!
I hope that you have a great Thanksgiving with your family!

Almost everyone likes to think they're headed to to Heaven when they die. Odds are, you do as well. Do you think your good works will get you there? Are you counting on being a good church member, your family heritage, your baptism, or something else being sufficient? Do you think you're a good person?

Click here to find out the truth. The answer may surprise you.

Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Insiders Panel: a briefing on the top tier candidates in CD5

As promised on Friday, I am publishing comments in full by one of the Insiders Panel members. This particular insider has the experience and connections to provide information about Oklahoma politics that many don't have access to.

5th District GOP Primary: Top 4 candidates examined

Even though the race for Oklahoma's 5th Congressional District has drawn many candidates, I feel there are only four viable candidates on the ticket. Quite simply, the winner will be a combination of who has the most money and who runs the best campaign. This seems like an oversimplified statement but it is actually quite complex in 2020. Let's take a look at the top four candidates in the order I believe they will win on the primary ballot:

#1) Terry Neese. Terry has been deeply involved in OKC for 40 years. She started Terry Neese Personnel and has become a national figure speaking before Congress on issues related to small business and women-owned business. Terry created The Institute for Economic Empowerment of Women and its subsidiary Peace Through Business, which helps women from war torn countries learn how to start a business. Why does this matter? Because Terry has the credentials to match Kendra Horn when it comes to women's issues. Some pollsters say this is a "women's race" for CD 5 and I think Terry is the only candidate with deep enough roots with the women voters to beat Horn.

Neese has put $450,000 of her own money in the race and has been frugal with expenses, leaving over $640,000 in the bank at the end of the 3rd quarter.

#2) Stephanie Bice. Stephanie enjoys the luxury of being a sitting State Senator who was recruited to run for this seat. She had told many people she was not running, but the offer of campaign help from heavy hitters in DC along with deep ties to PAC money to finance her campaign convinced her to run. Bice is a young, attractive candidate that many think will appeal to the young voters and could match Horn for the young women and professional vote. She has had a working campaign staff for several months and has spent much of the money she has raised. Stephanie is the only candidate to have sent 2 mailers and paid for digital ads which is boasting her name recognition.

Watch the Senate agenda and bill sponsorship for Bice to head up key legislation that will get her free press and name recognition. Being a political insider may have benefits, but in the current climate, Bice may suffer because of being a current elected official. Bice will not have to give up her seat to run for Congress and if she wins there will have to be a special election to replace her.

#3) David Hill. David is from the well respected Hill family that owns Kimray manufacturing and were the financiers behind Character Training Institute. David and his wife are both wealthy and could self-finance. While the name Hill is popular in some circles in OKC, David has very low name recognition and will have to spend a lot of money to overcome the popularity of the other three top tier candidates. Polls suggest it is harder for a male to win an election going head to head with a female and the country is very focused on female candidates. For this reason, I list Hill as #3.

#4) Janet Barresi. Janet is very well known having served as State Superintendent of Education, but I believe that is also her greatest downfall. Teachers do not like Barresi and polls show Republicans will either not vote or vote for Horn over Barresi in the general election. In her race for re-election Janet put in over a million dollars of her own money and still lost by 10 points. Barresi's primary support will come from School Choice and OCPA supporters. I do not believe she has the support to beat incumbent Kendra Horn.

I believe a ground game is critical to winning CD5. Bice will be tied up in session so the other 3 candidates have the upper hand for having the time to be on the doorsteps. The primary will cost at least two million dollars, and with a guaranteed run-off cost of another million, whoever wins the Republican nomination will have spent millions before they face Kendra Horn. Money is the #1 key to winning this election!

I have heard a rumor of an additional well-known candidate getting in the race but at this point I believe if anyone else decides to jump in they will suffer the fate of Democratic Presidential candidate Deval Patrick -- too little, too late.

This column was penned by a member of the Insiders Panel. This insider is well-positioned to provide key insights on Oklahoma politics. To read thoughts by the rest of the Insiders Panel, read my post entitled 'Insiders Panel on CD5 race: GOP top tier clear, leader still uncertain'.

Monday, November 25, 2019

Music Monday: Count Your Blessings

In honor of Thanksgiving on Thursday, this week's Music Monday is the hymn Count Your Blessings, sung here by the Master's University Chorale and conducted by one of the leading church choral composers/arrangers of the past few decades, Tom Fettke..


See below for all previous Music Monday posts. Do you have a song you'd like to suggest for a future Music Monday? Email me at

November 18th, 2019: Poor Wayfaring Stranger
November 11th, 2019: Over There
November 4th, 2019: Great Speckled Bird
October 28th, 2019: A Mighty Fortress Is Our God
October 14th, 2019: Batman Theme
September 30th, 2019: These Are My People (Johnny Cash)
September 23rd, 2019: Pictures at an Exhibition (Great Gate of Kiev)
September 16th, 2019: The Streets of Laredo (Piano Puzzler)
September 9th, 2019: I'm Ready To Go
August 26th, 2019: It Is Not Death To Die
August 5th, 2019: 10,000 Reasons (Bless the Lord)
July 29th, 2019: Let It Be Said Of Us
July 15th, 2019: Bach's "Little" Fugue in G Minor
July 8th, 2019: The Majesty and Glory of Your Name
July 1st, 2019: Medley of Sousa Marches
June 24th, 2019: Seventy-Six Trombones
June 17th, 2019: I Want To Be That Man
June 3rd, 2019: "Les Toreadors" from 'Carmen'
May 20th, 2019: Lonesome Road
May 13th, 2019: Mr. Mom
April 29th, 2019: Have Faith in God (Muskogee's hymn)
April 15th, 2019: The Government Can
March 25th, 2019: Transcendental Étude No. 4, "Mazeppa"
March 18th, 2019: St. Patrick's Day in the Morning
March 11th, 2019: What Wondrous Love is This
March 4th, 2019: Scandinavian Waltz
February 18th, 2019: Adagio for Strings
February 11th, 2019: 'Romance' from 'The Gadfly'
February 4th, 2019: Columbia, Gem of the Ocean
January 7th, 2019: Loch Lomond
December 31st, 2018: Auld Lang Syne
December 24th, 2018: Remember O, thou Man
December 17th, 2018: O Come, O Come, Emmanuel
December 10th, 2018: Carol of the Bells (medley)
December 3rd, 2018: God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen
November 26th, 2018: Happy Birthday
November 19th, 2018: My Heart is Filled with Thankfulness
November 12th, 2018: Hymn to the Fallen
October 29th, 2018: A Mighty Fortress is Our God
October 22nd, 2018: Hymn to Red October
October 15th, 2018:  Indian Reservation ("Cherokee People")
October 8th, 2018: Wagner's 'Columbus Overture'
October 1st, 2018: Danny Boy
September 24th, 2018: Dvorak's 'From The New World' Symphony, 4th Movement
September 17th, 2018: Deep River
September 10th, 2018: Muleskinner Blues
September 3rd, 2018: Boomer Sooner
August 20th, 2018: Psalm 23
August 13th, 2018: Ashokan Farewell
August 6, 2018: How the West Was Won
July 23rd, 2018: I Just Can't Wait to Be King
July 16th, 2018: 'Jupiter' from 'The Planets'
July 9th, 2018: Hail to the Spirit of Liberty
July 2nd, 2018: Turn The Tide
June 25th, 2018: Good Guys Win
June 18th, 2018: Watching You
June 11th, 2018: Adoration
June 4th, 2018: March from 'A Moorside Suite'
May 28th, 2018: Taps
May 21st, 2018: Listz's La Campanella
May 14th, 2018: Handful of Weeds
May 7th, 2018: Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing
April 30th, 2018: Polonaise in A-flat major, Op. 53 ("Heroic")
April 23rd, 2018: Blow Ye The Trumpet
April 16th, 2018: Asturias (Leyenda)
April 9th, 2018: Old Mountain Dew
April 2nd, 2018: His Life For Mine
March 19th, 2018: See, the Conqu'ring Hero Comes!
March 12th, 2018: Choctaw Nation
March 5th, 2018: Hark, I Hear The Harps Eternal
February 19th, 2018: The Olympic Spirit
February 12th, 2018: Olympic Fanfare and Theme
January 29th, 2018: Hail to the Chief
January 23rd, 2018: Waltz in A-Flat Major, Op. 39 No. 15
January 15th, 2018: Bleed The Same
January 8th, 2018: Saint-Saëns' Symphony No.3 'Organ' (Maestoso)
December 25th, 2017: God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen
December 18th, 2017: I Saw Three Ships (The Piano Guys)
December 11th, 2017:Who Is He In Yonder Stall
December 4th, 2017: Carol of the Bells (Mannheim Steamroller)
November 27th, 2017: Joy to the World!
November 20th, 2017: We Gather Together
November 13th, 2017: Mansions of the Lord
November 6th, 2017: Träumerei
October 30th: A Mighty Fortress Is Our God
October 23rd, 2017: In Christ Alone
October 16th, 2017: When I'm Knee Deep In Bluegrass
October 9th, 2017: I Pledge Allegiance to the Lamb
October 2nd, 2017: Piano Concerto No. 2 in B-flat major (Brahms)
September 25th, 2017: Beethoven's Sonata No. 8 in C minor ('Pathétique')
September 11th, 2017: Have You Forgotten?
September 4th, 2017: Bach's Double Violin Concerto
August 28th, 2017: Noah Found Grace In The Eyes Of The Lord
August 21st, 2017: The Heavens Are Telling The Glory of God
August 14th, 2017: Beethoven's 5th Symphony
August 7th, 2017: 'Lift High The Name Of Jesus' medley
July 31st, 2017: Fanfare for the Common Man
July 24th, 2017: Variations on 'Happy Birthday'
July 10th, 2017: Summer (Presto) from Vivaldi's Four Seasons
July 3rd, 2017: Freelance Fireworks Hall of Fame
June 26th, 2017: Praise to the Lord, the Almighty
June 19th, 2017: A Christian Home
June 12th, 2017: Ol' Man River
June 5th, 2017: Choctaw Cowboy
May 29th, 2017: Armed Forces Salute
May 22nd, 2017: Double Bass Concerto No.2 in B minor
May 15th, 2017: Pomp and Circumstance March No. 1 in D major
May 8th, 2017: The Army Goes Rolling Along
April 17th, 2017: He Is Alive
April 10th, 2017: Surely He Hath Borne/And With His Stripes/All We Like Sheep
April 3rd, 2017: Here Comes Carolina
March 27th, 2017: 'Spring' from Vivaldi's 'Four Seasons'
March 20th, 2017: Symphony No. 5 ("Reformation") Finale
March 13th, 2017: The Pigeon on the Gate
March 6th, 2017: Finlandia
February 27th, 2017: When I Can Read My Title Clear
February 20th, 2017: William Tell Overture - Finale
February 13th, 2017: 'Romance' from 'The Gadfly'
February 6th, 2017: White Winter Hymnal
January 30th, 2017: Hail, Columbia
January 23rd, 2017: Hail to the Chief
January 16th, 2017: Come, Ye Sinners, Poor and Needy
January 2nd, 2017: Auld Lang Syne
December 26th, 2016: Hark! The Herald Angels Sing
December 19th, 2016: I Wonder as I Wander
December 12th, 2016: O Come, O Come, Emmanuel
December 5th, 2016: A Christmas Festival
November 28th, 2016: God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen
November 21st: Beethoven's 'Hymn of Thanksgiving'
November 14th: Hymn to the Fallen
November 7th: This World Is Not My Home
October 31st, 2016: A Mighty Fortress Is Our God
October 24th, 2016: 'Mars', from 'The Planets'
October 17th, 2016: My Shepherd Will Supply My Need
October 10th, 2016: Spain
October 3rd, 2016: International Harvester
September 26th, 2016: 'The Imperial March' from Star Wars
September 19th, 2016: Awake the Trumpet's Lofty Sound
September 12th, 2016: Before the Throne of God Above
September 5th, 2016: The Hunt
August 29th, 2016: Liberty
August 22nd, 2016: Summon the Heroes
August 15th, 2016: Bugler's Dream
August 8th, 2016: Olympic Fanfare and Theme
August 1st, 2016: 'Prelude' and 'Parade of the Charioteers' from Ben-Hur
July 25th, 2016: How The West Was Won
July 18th, 2016: Six Studies in English Folk Song
July 11th, 2016: From Everlasting To Everlasting
July 4th, 2016: The Stars and Stripes Forever
June 27th, 2016: Rule, Britannia!
June 20st, 2016: Bugler's Holiday
June 13th, 2016: Ride of the Valkyries
June 6th, 2016: Piano Concerto in A Minor, Op. 54, Allegro Vivace
May 30th, 2016: Armed Forces Salute
May 23rd, 2016: Paid in Full (Through Jesus, Amen)
May 16th, 2016: Overture from 'Carmen'
May 9th, 2016: L'Arlesienne Suite No. 1 - Prelude
May 2nd, 2016: My God Is a Rock
April 25th, 2016: Toccata and Fugue in D Minor
April 18th, 2016: Paganini's Caprice No. 24 in A Minor
April 11th, 2016: Fantasia on a 17th Century Tune
April 4th, 2016: Hark The Sound/I'm a Tarheel Born
March 28th, 2016: Rustle of Spring
March 21st, 2016: 'Ode to Joy' sung by a 10,000-voice choir
March 14th, 2016: Hard Times Come Again No More
March 7th, 2016: 'The Suite' from Downton Abbey
February 29th, 2016: Moonlight Sonata
February 22nd, 2016: Liebestraum No. 3
February 15th, 2016: Help Is On The Way
February 8th, 2016: God of Grace and God of Glory
February 1st, 2016: 'My Story'
January 25th, 2016: Israeli Concertino
January 18th, 2016: What Grace is Mine
January 11th, 2016: "Meditation" from Thaïs
January 4th, 2016: Praeludium and Allegro
December 28th, 2015: Appalachian Carol
December 21st, 2015: God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen
December 14th, 2015: O Holy Night
December 7th, 2015: Christmas Fantasy
November 23rd, 2015: Simple Gifts
November 16th, 2015: Preacher Tell Me Like It Is
November 9th, 2015: Armed Forces Salute
November 2nd, 2015: Amazing Grace
October 26th, 2015: The Harmonious Blacksmith
October 19th, 2015: Liberty Fanfare
October 12th, 2015: The Majesty and Glory of Your Name
October 5th, 2015: Elgar's 'Enigma' Finale
September 28th, 2015: Stayed on Jesus
September 21st, 2015: Great Gate of Kiev
September 14th, 2015: Nearer, My God, To Thee

State Election Board Debuts New OK Voter Portal

State Election Board Debuts New OK Voter Portal

(Oklahoma City) – The State Election Board has launched a brand new tool that will provide the state’s online voter services in one convenient location. The OK Voter Portal debuted this month on the State Election Board website at State Election Board Secretary Paul Ziriax says it’s a big step forward for engaging voters and enhancing both convenience and security.

“The OK Voter Portal is a one-stop-shop for voters. It’s convenient, mobile-friendly, and most importantly—it’s safe and secure,” Ziriax said.

The OK Voter Portal allows voters to:

  • Verify voter registration information
  • View voting districts
  • Find polling place information
  • View a sample ballot
  • Request and check the status of absentee ballots
  • Change a residence address (within the same county) or a mailing address
  • Change political affiliation
  • Respond to an Address Confirmation Notice (during the year it is issued)

Voters will find the OK Voter Portal at:

Ziriax also urged Oklahoma voters to be cautious about using sites or services that are not operated by election officials.

“More and more organizations are offering services and information to voters that duplicate what the State Election Board already provides – such as signing up for election reminders, locating your polling place, or requesting an absentee ballot," he said. “What most people don’t realize, though, is that these sites are not affiliated with the State Election Board. For accurate, secure, and up-to-date information, voters should always contact the State Election Board or their County Election Board first.”

The State Election Board's website is County Election Board contact information can be found at:

Saturday, November 23, 2019

Hofmeister announces addition of 1,751 classroom teachers over the last two years

Hofmeister announces addition of 1,751 classroom teachers over the last two years

OKLAHOMA CITY (Nov. 21, 2019) – Oklahoma has seen significant growth in its teacher workforce with the addition of 1,751 classroom teachers since the 2017-18 school year, State Superintendent of Public Instruction Joy Hofmeister said today. During the past two legislative sessions, lawmakers passed back-to-back pay increases averaging approximately $7,400 per teacher, boosting Oklahoma’s teacher pay to the top of the region.

“Because of concentrated efforts to attract and retain teachers over the last several years, we can now report that school districts are hiring and more people want to teach in Oklahoma,” Hofmeister said. “We still have work to do to ensure we have a sufficient educator workforce to reduce class sizes and bolster student learning, but this sustained uptick in numbers is a strong indicator that we have begun to reverse course and attract new talent to a profession with unparalleled impact on young lives. These numbers represent a win for Oklahoma kids.”

In the 2017-18 school year, Oklahoma’s classroom teacher count was 41,305. A year later, it had grown to 42,453, an increase of 1,148. New Oklahoma State Department of Education numbers for the current school year include 43,056 classroom teachers, or 603 more than the year prior.

Small: Deduction cap may play role in casino debate

Deduction cap may play role in casino debate
By Jonathan Small

When it comes to the ongoing debate over renegotiation of state-tribal gaming compacts, there’s an elephant in the living room everyone pretends to ignore for now, but that may soon play a big role in negotiations.

In 2018, lawmakers voted to cap income-tax deductions at $17,000 per return. That’s a problem for Oklahoma casino operators—several of whom supported the 2018 tax hikes—because it hits many of their customers. It turns out a lot of people lose a lot of money in Oklahoma casinos. This fact was highlighted recently when the senior counsel of the Chickasaw Nation said California is the only state where more money is spent on gambling than Oklahoma, and on a per-person basis California gets just $90 per citizen versus $407 in Oklahoma.

The huge per-person gap is a reflection of the size of the losses experienced by gamblers in Oklahoma.

Oklahoma’s casino interests are promoting a bill to exempt gambling losses from the deduction cap even as they resist Gov. Kevin Stitt’s call to renegotiate gaming compacts.

Stitt has the stronger case on the merits. But he may also have more leverage thanks to the casinos’ desire for a gambler tax break, which would act as an indirect taxpayer subsidy of their operations.

In Oklahoma, only tribal governments can operate casinos. In exchange for area monopolies, they pay a state fee in return. But Stitt has shown Oklahoma’s share is far less than in most comparable gaming markets.

Tribal casino fees in Connecticut, New York and Florida all run up to 25 percent. In Oklahoma, the fee on slot machines tops out at 6 percent. Notably, two Oklahoma tribes are entering an Arkansas market despite its top rate of 20 percent.

Casino operators counter that other states’ gaming compacts charge less, and sometimes nothing. But those markets don’t compare to Oklahoma, which has the nation’s largest casino.

At the same time, Oklahoma casino operators argue our gaming compacts auto-renew and the 6-percent fee remains locked in place throughout eternity. But Oklahoma’s gaming compacts state “this compact shall have a term which shall expire on January 1, 2020.” Why include a concrete expiration date in a contract with no expiration?

In exchange for higher fees, the governor has said he is open to allowing casinos to offer sports betting, a lucrative proposition. And the proposed gambler tax break looms in the background, even if no one is discussing it in public.

Oklahoma gambling is a monopolistic enterprise, not a free market. Taxes on gambling in Oklahoma are less than taxes on a bottle of water or groceries. Most businesses are subject to either corporate or pass-through income taxes. Businesses and homeowners pay property taxes, but not casinos. Especially in this situation, the governor has made a strong case Oklahoma casinos should at least pay market rates. And there’s no reason this can’t be a win-win for both sides.

Jonathan Small serves as president of the Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs.

Friday, November 22, 2019

Insiders Panel on CD5 race: GOP top tier clear, leader still uncertain

As announced earlier this week, I have put together a Insiders Panel to discuss certain aspects of 2020 Oklahoma politics with people "in the know". The anonymity of the panel is designed to allow them to more freely express their thoughts, giving an inside look at some behind the scenes moves and trends across the state.

The first topic that the Insiders Panel has discussed is the 5th Congressional District campaign. I posed five questions to the members, and received comment in detail on each.
  1. Which candidates do you view as being in the top tier?
  2. Which candidate would you currently put in the lead?
  3. Which candidate(s), if any, do you think will drop out before filing day? 
  4. Which candidate has the best potential to beat Horn? 
  5. Do you anticipate anyone else of import joining the race?
Let's dive in to the commentary.

1. Which candidates do you view as being in the top tier? 
Panelists were bullish on Terry Neese and Stephanie Bice, with every respondent including the two in their top tier. David Hill was included by four, with some caveats, while two included Janet Barresi.

An Oklahoma City-area panelist had this to say: "Tier 1 would be Neese, Bice, Barresi and Hill in no particular order. Hill may be tier 2 depending on how much of his own money he puts in."

A figure involved in government agreed on Hill's uncertain position. "I see this as a Bice vs Neese runoff right now. David Hill is the wildcard."

A longtime insider said this: "Even though the race for OK-5 has drawn many candidates, I feel there are only 4 viable candidates on the ticket (Neese, Bice, Hill, Barresi). Quite simply the winner will be a combination of who has the most money and who runs the best campaign. This seems like an oversimplified statement but it is actually quite complex in 2020."

Two others, from outside of the 5th District, agreed that Bice, Hill, and Neese make up the top tier, in no particular order. A rural member added Ballard. 

2. Which candidate would you currently put in the lead? 

A Tulsa area activist put it this way: "I'd put Neese in the lead as she's making the clearest pitch to the Republican, pro-Trump, base."

Taking a slightly different angle, this was from an OKC metro activist: "I would put Bice in the lead, just for name ID."

Some expressed concern over the lack of a clear leader: "It’s evenly tilted in my mind. No candidate has truly showed themselves to be the front runner, which is concerning when multiple candidates can put in millions of dollars and the Democrat incumbent has a massive war chest."

This comment came from a person experienced in campaigns: "Bice and Barresi both have bases of support. Granted, Barresi also has serious baggage with pro-education voters. Bice had the highest re-election percentage of any incumbent Senator, running in the 70’s in the primary and general elections in 2018. Stitt won 7 of her 13 precincts, showing she is very strong where known. Neese just hasn’t been on the ballot since 1994. The electorate has changed and I’m sure her name ID starts very low. She has put a lot of money in but Bice has actually out raised her from donors. That's why I would say Bice and Barresi have the edge for now."

A legislator said that Neese was the clear frontrunner. 

3.Which candidate(s), if any, do you think will drop out before filing day? 

An OKC metro panelist made this response: "I don’t think any of those [Bice, Neese, Hill, Barresi] will drop out. This race is headed for a run-off. I'm sure we will get into that more closely to the elections. None of the other candidates are known or raised money to even begin campaigning."

The mentality that the primary will be a jungle leading to a runoff was pervasive. This was a government official: "I doubt many will drop out. No downside for these candidates as filing is cheap."

Most respondents don't expect any of the major candidates to drop out, although several of the lesser-known hopefuls likely will.

4. Which candidate has the best potential to beat Horn? 

Illustrative of the early state of the race, no consensus was reached on this question.

One of the 5th District insiders sees Bice with the inside track: "There is so much time on the clock. I would like to give Hill time to see some more from the campaign. Today I would say Senator Bice is the best match up against the incumbent. They are around the same age but Bice has more actual legislative experience and authored popular legislation not to mention SQ 792 which passed with 66% statewide. While the incumbent is single, Bice has two daughters - one college age and the other in high school. Married with a family is a contrast in backgrounds. Barresi, again, has a base, but I do question how many Republicans she would lose over her history with education. I don’t believe any other [statewide] incumbent has come in 3rd in a primary for re-election. I think Neese and Hill have to introduce themselves and carve out bases, while the other two have a large head start on."

An OKC metro activist had this thought: "I think Neese has the best chance to defeat Horn, because Bice would divide the Republican base. Neese has no voting record and I think she is more conservative."

One of the younger panelists had another opinion: "David Hill if he starts actually coalition building . Right now I haven’t seen it."

A Tulsa member feels optimistic about the odds to flip the 5th: "I think whoever the Republican nominee is, can absolutely win. And not just because it's a traditional Republican seat, but because Horn is underwhelming, and she's trying to appease both conservative and liberal democrats in her district. That doesn't work long-term. Money also matters here. The Republican nominee will have to raise significant dollars. If they don't, I think it's tough."

One of the members involved in government felt that, of all the candidates, Neese has the best chance to defeat Kendra Horn.

5. Do you anticipate anyone else of import joining the race?

A media member thinks the field is mostly set: "I don’t see another significant candidate jumping in. Mick Cornett has told many people he has no interest and its getting late if you already have 4 candidates that will be well funded. This race is headed to a run off and it will be interesting to who runs the best race."

Several others dismissed the Cornett rumor, or felt that nobody of substance would join the race from this point out.

That's all for now. On Tuesday, I'll be publishing a briefing on the top four candidates penned by one of the Insiders panelists. Visit back for some special insights on the 5th District race!

State to Appeal Judge Balkman’s Final Order in Opioid Case

State to Appeal Judge Balkman’s Final Order in Opioid Case

OKLAHOMA CITY – Attorney General Mike Hunter today announced that the state intends to appeal Cleveland County District Judge Thad Balkman’s final order issued last Friday in the trial against Johnson & Johnson.

The state agrees with Judge Balkman’s final order on a multitude of fronts. For example, the court correctly applied Oklahoma’s public nuisance law to this case, found that Johnson & Johnson is a direct cause of the state’s opioid epidemic, the epidemic is a public nuisance and menace to Oklahoma, and Johnson & Johnson is responsible for abating the nuisance.

However, attorneys for the state take issue with the part of the court’s ruling that only requires Johnson & Johnson to pay for one year of the state’s abatement plan, which was carefully designed by state officials.

“Judge Balkman’s conduct of both pre-trial and trial proceedings was informed and balanced,” Attorney General Hunter said. “His final order was correct and evidence-based as to causation and Johnson & Johnson’s culpability. However, we respectfully disagree with his order where it says Johnson & Johnson must only fund one year of cleaning up the public nuisance he found Johnson & Johnson created, after the company deceived and bombarded our doctors and Oklahomans with lies, leading to the deadliest manmade public health crisis in our nation’s history. This limitation directly opposes evidence presented during trial and the state’s public nuisance law, which requires full remediation of the problem. It is crystal clear under Oklahoma law that once a company is found liable for causing a public nuisance, it must pay what it takes to clean it up until the nuisance is gone.

“During the trial, the state’s expert witnesses repeatedly testified that it could take up to 30 years or more to take our state back to where we were before the crisis began. Our abatement plan was put together by some of the foremost experts in the state and nation on what it will take to overcome this tragedy that continues to grip our state. All of these experts agree that there are dire consequences if we do not end the crisis in its entirety, and that it will get much worse and more Oklahomans will die. Johnson & Johnson had no abatement expert of its own and failed to present a competing abatement plan.”

The attorney general agrees with the position taken by Governor Kevin Stitt, President Pro Tempore Greg Treat and House Speaker Charles McCall in the amicus brief filed on their behalf, that since the Court found Johnson & Johnson created the public nuisance, Johnson & Johnson should be required to fund all abatement costs until the nuisance they created has been abated.

Read the state’s abatement plan:

The state has until Dec. 16 to file its appeal.   

Thursday, November 21, 2019

OCPA Report: Casino compacts should be renegotiated

New report shows Oklahoma’s casino compacts should be renegotiated

OKLAHOMA CITY—A new report by the Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs (OCPA) highlights the need for Oklahoma to renegotiate its gaming compacts.

“It’s clear from the data, Oklahoma casino operators are getting an incredibly special deal,” said Jonathan Small, OCPA president. “I encourage
 everyone to read this report. After doing so, there should be no doubt about it; Oklahoma’s gaming compacts must be renegotiated.”

The report compares the Oklahoma gaming industry to other states’—specifically looking at exclusivity fees and tax rates.

“Oklahoma’s gaming industry is the third-largest in the nation bringing in $4.4 billion last year. However, the state only collected $153
 million in fees, one of the lowest totals in the country,” said Curtis Shelton, OCPA Policy Research Fellow. “With the gaming industry now the eighth largest industry in the state, it’s clear that these tribal compacts have an enormous impact on all Oklahomans. This study provides a foundation of facts for this important issue.”

As the report points out, the exclusivity fees paid by tribal casino operators in Oklahoma are not only much lower than the tax rates paid by commercial casinos in most other states but are also lower than the fees paid by comparable tribal casinos in other states.

The financial impact created by Oklahoma’s low fees can be seen when comparing how much the state collects on slot machines at casinos versus slot machines at race tracks. The state receives an average $24,000 for each racing machine, but just $2,833 per Class III slot machine in tribal casinos.

Oklahoma casinos also have more Class II machines, which are subject to no state fees, than comparable casinos in other states. While Oklahoma is the third-largest gaming market in the United States behind only Nevada and California, there are 28,640 untaxed Class II machines in Oklahoma casinos compared to just 2,342 in California. Of all untaxed class II games in states where class III compacts have been signed, 80 percent of those machines are in Oklahoma.

“One fact stands out above all others: Oklahoma has more slot machines than all but a handful of states—yet collects less revenue than most,” Shelton said.

About the Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs
The Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs (OCPA) is a public policy research organization focused primarily on state-level issues. OCPA conducts
 research and analysis of public issues in Oklahoma from a perspective of limited government, individual liberty, and a free-market economy.

Neese endorsed by OK County Commissioner Kevin Calvey


Oklahoma City, OK – Terry Neese, conservative Republican candidate for Oklahoma’s 5th Congressional District, has secured the endorsement of Kevin Calvey, former member of the Oklahoma House of Representatives and current Commissioner for Oklahoma County. In a statement released today, Calvey praised Neese for being the only true conservative in this race who shares Oklahoma values and who will fight for a smaller, more accountable government in Congress.

“We need a proven conservative like Terry Neese representing our values in Washington, D.C. – not a liberal Democrat or a wishy-washy Republican,” said Kevin Calvey, Oklahoma County Commissioner. “Terry Neese is pro-life, pro-gun, and a Constitutional conservative who shares our values and is committed to fighting for a smaller, more accountable federal government. We need more leaders like Terry in Congress who will work with President Trump to keep our nation moving forward, and I am proud to offer her my full endorsement because I know she will get the job done.”

“I am honored to have the support of Kevin Calvey – a highly respected public servant who shares my commitment to keeping government small and protecting our conservative values at all costs,” said Terry Neese. “The days of having a liberal Congresswoman who supports impeachment and big-government policies are numbered, and I will continue to work hard each and every day to let voters know I am the only conservative in this race who can beat Kendra Horn and deliver the results Oklahoma’s 5th District deserves.”.

World of Warships joins effort to raise funds for USS Batfish

World of Warships, a 'free-to-play naval warfare-themed massively multiplayer online game', is joining the effort to repair the USS Batfish submarine in Muskogee.

Here's the release from the gaming site:

A titan of submarine history needs your help!

Commissioned in August of 1943, USS Batfish is the only Allied submarine to ever sink three enemy submarines in a single patrol. This Balao-class submarine sunk a total of six ships over the course of her career. She received six battle stars for her service during World War II.

Her transformation into a museum ship would begin in 1971. The Oklahoma Maritime Advisory Board acquired the sub and began the long process of transporting up the Mississippi and Arkansas rivers to Batfish's final resting place in Muskogee, Oklahoma.

On May 22, 2019, the Muskogee War Memorial Park experienced the second highest flood in Muskogee history. The USS Batfish was at the center of the disaster! Knocked around and corroded by the flood surge, the legendary submarine is in dire need of repair and stabilization.

How You Can Help
  • Purchase the exclusive USS Batfish Patch bundle below. 100% of bundle sales go to the Muskogee War Memorial Park's Batfish preservation efforts
  • Donate directly via the USS Batfish GoFundMe

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Abolition group calls on Gov. Stitt to take stand on ending abortion

Graphic source:

Free The States, an organization that grew out of Abolish Human Abortion and Dan Fisher's 2018 gubernatorial run, has launched a campaign entitled Stand With Stitt aimed at encouraging the Oklahoma Governor to follow up his pro-life rhetoric by supporting abortion abolition legislation.

Specifically, Free The States has set up an online petition for supporters to sign:

The petition reads as follows:
An Open Letter to Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt:
Dear Governor Stitt,

There is a chasm in our culture. It is not between pro-lifers and pro-choicers. It is between those who possess moral opinions about abortion and those who take moral action to stop abortion. It is time to move beyond the profession of a pro-life position and the promise to “protect life.” The only way to truly protect all human beings in the womb is by abolishing abortion. The only way to abolish abortion is by defying the unconstitutional ruling in Roe v. Wade and criminalizing abortion as murder.

Please do more than promise to “sign any pro-life bill “ that makes it to your desk. Dozens of pro-life bills have been signed by pro-life governors in pro-life Oklahoma, and yet thousands of children are still being murdered every year in our state. It is time to move beyond the pro-life strategy of merely regulating abortion. It is time for Oklahoma to become the first Abortion-Free State.

We don’t need another status-quo, pro-life politician for Governor. We need an Abolitionist Governor who will take a stand and use their lawful authority to create a true culture of life in our state by establishing equal justice for all human beings immediately. The murder of innocent children by abortion already violates the highest laws of our land and your executive leadership and action is the key to bringing about the abolition of abortion. There is no need to wait for the courts to change their mind or for the legislature to pass a measure. Your responsibility is to act today.

Will you be that Governor? Will you be our generation’s Wilberforce? Or will you be content to regulate abortion, thereby signing your name in history as the Governor who did nothing to free the state of Oklahoma from its participation in the American Abortion Holocaust? Now is the time to Abolish Abortion in Oklahoma. You can lead the nation in repentance and change the course of human history. Becoming a “top-ten state” will not matter one bit if you choose not to lead in this area.

Be strong and courageous. If you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance will arise from another place and bring shame upon you. But perhaps you were appointed for such a time as this! If you stand up, we will support you! We will rally to you! If you seek justice and lead the fight against the lawless and bloody tyranny of the Supreme Court, we will follow you.

You can view or sign the petition here, as well as read additional arguments for the campaign.

Stitt appoints Dustin Rowe to Oklahoma Supreme Court

This is a really good pick by Governor Stitt:


Oklahoma City, Okla. (Nov. 20, 2019) – Governor Kevin Stitt announced today the appointment of Dustin P. Rowe to the Supreme Court
 of Oklahoma. This is Governor Stitt’s second appointment to the state Supreme Court.

Rowe’s appointment fills the vacancy for District 2 created by former Justice Patrick Wyrick’s appointment to become a federal judge
 on the United States District Court for the Western District of Oklahoma. Rowe was one of three applicants provided by the Judicial Nominating Commission for the governor’s selection.

“Mr. Rowe is an accomplished lawyer and dedicated Oklahoman who has an impressive legal background,” said Gov. Stitt.

“His proven record in both his private practice and as a tribal court judge speaks to his qualifications to join the highest court in Oklahoma. Rowe’s reputation of fairness, passion for the legal system, and heart for his community is evident. I am confident he will serve our state with integrity in order to support and defend
the state’s constitution and uphold the rule of law.”

"I am honored and humbled by the trust Governor Stitt has placed in me,” said Rowe.
“I will work diligently on the Oklahoma Supreme Court to uphold the constitution of our great state."

Dustin P. Rowe has practiced law on Main Street in Tishomingo since 2001, where he owns and manages Rowe Law Firm. Mr. Rowe has represented thousands of Oklahomans, and has practiced in more than 25 of Oklahoma's district courts. Mr. Rowe served as Special Judge of the Chickasaw Nation District Court from 2005 to 2011, and has served as District Judge of the Chickasaw Nation District Court from 2011 to present, where he has presided over more than ten thousand cases, including hundreds of child welfare cases and adoptions.

Rowe is Chairman of the Johnston County Bar Association. He is admitted to practice before the United States Supreme Court, the Oklahoma Supreme Court, the Chickasaw Nation Supreme Court, and the United States District Courts for the Eastern and Western Districts of Oklahoma.

Rowe is a lifelong resident of Tishomingo, Oklahoma. He earned his B.A. with honors from East Central University in 1998 and his Juris Doctor from the University of Oklahoma College of Law where he was named a Lee B. Thompson Scholar in 2001. He is an alumnus of the National Judicial College in Reno, Nevada and maintains active participation in continuing legal and judicial education.

Rowe and his wife, Nicole, have two grown children and live in Tishomingo, Oklahoma.
In April 1994, at the age of 18, Rowe was elected Mayor of Tishomingo, Oklahoma, while still a senior in High School, where he served
 two terms as the state's youngest mayor.

LtGov Pinnell coming to Muskogee for trivia night fundraiser for USS Batfish repairs

As a result of the record flooding in May, the USS Batfish submarine located at Muskogee's War Memorial Park was severely damaged, breaking loose of her moorings and had to be secured to prevent it from slipping downstream. The damage is estimated to cost at least a half million dollars, possibly more.

Lieutenant Governor Matt Pinnell is gallantly pitching in on the effort to raise funds to restore and repair the Batfish, an Oklahoma treasure that deserves the attention.

From the Friends of the Muskogee War Memorial Park:

Please join us for Save the Batfish: Trivia Night W/ LT. Gov Matt Pinnell at the Muskogee Civic Center!

The USS Batfish was severely damaged in the record-level flooding of May and the Friends of the Muskogee War Memorial Park have banded together with local businesses and Oklahoma's Lieutenant Governor - Matt Pinnell to test our minds at trivia and raise money for good cause!

November 22, 2019
Happy Hour: 5:00 pm
Trivia: 6:00 pm - 10:00 pm
Muskogee Civic Center 425 Boston Street
Cash Bar • Snacks • 50/50 • Dessert Auction & More!

Individual tickets are $40 and a table of 8 may be purchased for $300

Sponsorships are available!

Enlisted ($500)
•Receive table of 8 for Save the USS Batfish Trivia
•Logo on all advertisements
•5 mulligans for trivia gameplay

Officer ($750)
•Exclusive Meet and Greet with Lt. Governor Matt Pinnell (Before Event)
•Logo displayed during trivia intermissions
•8 USS Batfish T-shirts for your crew!
•Receive table of 8 for Save the USS Batfish Trivia
•Logo on all advertisements
•5 mulligans for trivia gameplay

Admiral (Two Available) $1500
•Exclusive Meet and Greet with Lt. Governor Matt Pinnell (Before Event)
•Logo displayed on all trivia slides during event
•Logo sign placed at entry to USS Batfish for calendar year
•Logo displayed during trivia intermissions
•8 USS Batfish T-shirts for your crew!
•Receive table of 8 for Save the USS Batfish Trivia
•Logo on all advertisements
•5 mulligans for trivia gameplay

For more information please contact | 918.682.6294 or find us on Facebook at

*tickets, sponsorships, and donations are eligible for a tax write off.

As a trivia nut, this sounds like a great event, and if I wasn't already going to be headed out of town I'd try to make it!

Senate President Treat: no change in position following BGCO support of abolishing abortion

Last week, "messengers" (basically delegates) to the 2019 Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma, the annual denominational meeting for Southern Baptist churches in the Sooner State, overwhelmingly passed a resolution calling on the Oklahoma Legislature to "enact legislation for the immediate end of abortion without exception or compromise." 

This was big news on the abortion front, as BGCO staff had publicly opposed a 2019 bill (SB13) by Sen. Joseph Silk (R-Broken Bow) that aimed to abolish abortion entirely.

Other than the BGCO, three men were primarily responsible for Silk's bill being scuttled: Senate President Pro Tempore Greg Treat (R-OKC), Senate Health and Human Services chairman Jason Smalley (R-Stroud), and Oklahomans For Life president Tony Lauinger.

I emailed each of them for their reaction to the BGCO resolution. So far, I have received a response from only Senator Treat's office. Aaron Cooper, Director of Communications for President Pro Tempore Treat, responded to my inquiry on Senator Treat's behalf.

Q1: Do you have any comment on the BGCO resolution?
Cooper: Senator Treat was not surprised that Oklahoma Baptists took steps to maintain their longstanding commitment to protecting the life of the unborn.

Q2: Do you have anything to add to your previous position on bills like Silk's?
Cooper: Senator Treat has nothing new to add.

Q3: Silk's bill aside, do you intend to push for some other pro-life measure in the 2020 legislative session that would restrict or eliminate abortion in Oklahoma?
Cooper: Like he has nearly every year he’s served in the Legislature, Senator Treat plans to pursue legislation in 2020 to advance protection of the sanctity of life.

Notice that no detail is given, even though Senator Treat authored a bill last session that made no movement after passing the Senate. Originally, it was supposed to be a replacement for Silk's abolition bill -- a trigger that would revert Oklahoma to pre-Roe laws (i.e. abortion being illegal) should the Supreme Court or Congress reverse course -- but then was watered down even further into a state constitutional amendment to "clarif[y that] no provision of the [Oklahoma] Constitution secures or protects a right to perform or receive an abortion." I doubt any effort has been put into coming up with new changes since that time -- "out of sight, out of mind".

Oklahoma's legislature continues to be missing in action on the fight to end abortion. What measures will be allowed to get a vote in 2020? Senator Silk's abolition bill is still eligible for a hearing. Most likely, though, Senate leadership will push some afterthought bill that does nothing except attempt to placate pro-lifers ("we did something") and check a box on the get-elected to-do list.

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Gov. Stitt testifies before US Senate committee on EPA rule


WASHINTON, DC (Nov. 19, 2019) – Governor Kevin Stitt testified today before the U.S. Senate Environment and Public Works Committee in a hearing titled, “The Water Quality Certification Improvement Act of 2019, and Other Potential Reforms to Improve Implementation of Section 401 of the Clean Water Act.” A guest of U.S. Senator Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), Gov. Stitt testified on a panel with Governor Mark Gordon (R-Wy.) and Laura Watson, Assistant Attorney General in the Washington State Attorney General’s office.

His testimony is as follows:

"Chairman Barrasso, Ranking Member Carper, and senior member Senator Inhofe, thank you for inviting me to testify on why it is important for my state of Oklahoma to have clarity and certainty around Section 401 of the Clean Water Act.

As you may be aware, I am 11 months in to being governor of the great state of Oklahoma. Less than one year ago, I was in the private sector building a business in two of the most regulated sectors in the United States – banking and mortgage lending. I started that company from scratch and built it into 41 states and 1,300 employees.

I say this, because I want to share that as a former CEO I understand the importance of common-sense regulations. I know what motivates and incentivizes businesses to come into compliance in a timely fashion. I believe businesses want to do the right thing and they welcome baseline rules where necessary. They want to take care of their employees and the communities where they do business.

Efficiency and certainty from state and federal regulators allow a CEO to put more of his or her focus on creating jobs and growing an economy. Anything short of regulatory certainty and predictability stifles job creation, chills capital markets and slows down innovation for advances that make us a better and stronger society.

Today, serving as governor of the great state of Oklahoma, I have had the honor and opportunity to view the regulatory environment from the side of the government. I can speak with great assurance that regulations are best left to the states as often as possible. We know our people. We know our geography. We know our economies. And we know best when innovation demands regulatory flexibility and when protecting our citizens requires action.

Oklahoma is a huge success story for state’s rights and federal partnership, and I am here today to share with you why we must continue to strike this balance by modernizing and clarifying Section 401 of the Clean Water Act.

As you all know, Oklahoma has a long and storied history of leadership and innovation in the production of traditional fossil energy. We are proud to claim that we discovered hydraulic fracturing in 1949 in Duncan, Oklahoma, and we are proud of our pioneering spirit that has allowed our natural resources to fuel and feed the world and to make America energy independent. We are grateful to Senator Inhofe who has been a champion for our state on these issues.

Today, Oklahoma is #3 in natural gas production, #4 in oil production, and a leader in natural gas liquids that form the building blocks for the products Americans use every day. We are home to the largest oil reserves and we are considered the pipeline capitol of the world.

Oklahoma is Top Ten in all aspects of energy as well as in the environment. We are enjoying some of the cleanest drinking water in our state’s history. We have the most practical regulatory framework and some of the most efficient permitting review times in the country. We are meeting our obligations and certifying water quality standards within 60 days of the application, well under the one-year timeline proposed by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Thanks to Oklahoma-produced natural gas, and the shale revolution, my state has also reduced emissions in SO2, NOX, and CO2 at more than double the national average. The national average for CO2 reduction is nearly 15% since 2005, while Oklahoma has reduced its CO2 emission in the power sector by more than 37% since only 2011 and made even greater reductions in SO2 and NOX.

We have made major advancements in environmental quality while also maintaining our #1 ranking for delivering the cheapest electricity to the customer.

As a result, Oklahoma is the leading generator and exporter of power in the Southwest Power Pool (SPP), which is our Regional Transmission Organization (RTO).  In fact, 28% of the power produced in Oklahoma is sent out across transmission lines in the SPP exporting Oklahoma’s emissions-reducing energy to our neighboring states.

Oklahoma is the epicenter of America’s energy dominance. And we want our success to be shared with our neighbors and our fellow states as far north as Maine and as far south as the ports of Houston, Texas, and beyond.

Unfortunately, the misuse of Section 401 threatens Oklahoma’s potential and the endless opportunities for our 4 million residents. It prevents Oklahoma from achieving all it can be because a loophole within Section 401 is allowing a small handful of coastal states to dictate the future for all 40-plus states. That is unacceptable.

This point was absurdly exemplified last winter when a Russian tanker of liquefied natural gas was sitting in the Boston Harbor providing for the Northeast U.S. – where pipeline development has been stalled – from losing its heat during last winter’s Polar Vortex. Those needs could have been met safely and reliably with a steady supply of clean burning natural gas from Oklahoma. Imagine what that picture communicates to hard-working residents in my state? Do we really want our jobs and tax dollars to needlessly be given to Russia?

For that purpose, I support the actions taken by EPA and members of this committee to restore certainty to the Clean Water Act permitting process and certification under Section 401. A clear scope and a reasonable timeline are not invasive to states’ rights. The current proposed rule, and the opportunity to strengthen it legislatively, does nothing to prevent Oklahoma’s regulators from properly and scientifically considering whether a project negatively affects water quality in our state.

It has been almost 50 years since this regulation has been reviewed, and I support creating a reasonable baseline for Clean Water Act permitting and certification of interstate infrastructure, whether it be transmission line, pipeline or an interstate highway, to get Oklahoma’s products to market.

Once again, I want to thank you for this wonderful opportunity to speak to you today and to highlight the great state of Oklahoma. I look forward to taking your questions."

Sen. Dahm, Rep. West file resolution condemning Trump impeachment hearings

Resolution Condemning U.S. Congress Impeachment Hearings
Filed by Rep. Kevin West, Sen. Nathan Dahm

OKLAHOMA CITY – State Rep. Kevin West (R-Moore) and Sen. Nathan Dahm (R-Broken Arrow) filed a House Concurrent Resolution asking their colleagues in both the House and Senate to condemn the actions of the U.S. Congress for pursuing impeachment proceedings against President Donald J. Trump instead of performing the serious work prescribed to them by the Constitution, which the people elected them to fulfill and which each member swore to uphold.

West and Dahm invite any member of the Oklahoma Legislature to sign onto House Concurrent Resolution 1009 as a co-author. They will request the resolution be considered during the Second Session of the 57th Legislature, which commences Monday, Feb. 3, 2020. Copies of the resolution will be dispatched to President Trump, the clerk of the U.S. House of Representatives and the secretary of the U.S. Senate as well as the Oklahoma Congressional Delegation.

“This Concurrent Resolution condemning the Congress of the United States for pursuing impeachment proceedings against a duly elected President is about the blatant disregard for due process and should shock and terrify every American citizen,” West said. “The partisan attacks on our President have blinded many members of Congress, and they are refusing to do the jobs they were elected by their constituents to do. Congress is sent to our nation’s Capitol to represent the constituents of their districts, protect American interests and protect American citizens. What is happening right now in Washington D.C. is an embarrassment to our country and a full assault on our United States Constitution. We cannot stand by and allow this abuse of power to continue.”

Dahm added, “For far too long members of Congress have blatantly ignored the Constitution and the rights protected in it. We’ve seen numerous laws passed and introduced that violate due process, and now this new attack on the President is another example of how little regard is being shown for the protections in our Bill of Rights. If there are those willing to violate these rights in going after a duly elected President, the future of what may be used against our citizens is of great concern. We must take a stand for our rights.”

The resolution sets out that the American people expect and deserve an efficient and hard-working federal government, free of distracting bias and politically driven theatrics. It posits that many of the current membership of the United State Congress are not abiding by the merits of the Republic as espoused by our nation’s founders, forefathers and the intent of the U.S. Constitution.

The resolution further explains there are many serious issues Congress is responsible for addressing, including protecting taxpayers’ money from waste, maintaining our nation’s military for times of declared war, securing our borders through proper immigration and naturalization laws, and leaving all unenumerated powers to the control of the individual states.

West and Dahm state in the resolution that the current actions of the U.S. Congress are unconstitutional in that they would prohibit the accused from facing his accuser, they reject witnesses in the accused’s defense, and that pushing a predetermined political impeachment inquiry violates due process and only serves to foster divisiveness and an atmosphere of distrust that is counterproductive to keeping the United States the greatest nation in the world.

They further state that President Trump was duly elected by the people of this great nation in accordance with the requirements of the U.S. Constitution, and members of Congress should respect their oath of office and the will of the people.

The introduced version of House Concurrent Resolution 1009 can be read here: